Right or wrong, gay marriage is a right

By on December 9, 2009

If there is one debate that baffles me beyond all reason, it is the controversy over same-sex marriage. In case we have lost track, I would like to offer a few reminders.We are currently in a global financial meltdown, destroying the environment by the second and letting people die from things like genocide, curable diseases or just plain dirty water.

But instead of focusing our attention on these “minor” issues, Americans are preoccupied with jumping from state to state, voting to see which is more tolerant. New York just rejected a bill for gay marriage, which confuses me because it is legal in many states including Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont and here in Connecticut. But what baffles me even more than the headlines are the comments people write underneath the articles posted online. One read, “I’m thankful for the New York senators that voted down gay marriage as it should be. AMEN.”

This comment makes me embarrassed to be a Christian. If you do not believe in gay marriage or homosexuality in general, that is completely your own prerogative. However, this country was founded on equality. If America followed the Bible verbatim, women would still be subservient for the sole reason that Eve screwed things up with the whole apple scenario.

The United States of America was established under the idea of separation of church and state, that all should be treated equally. Countries like Sweden, the Netherlands and Spain have already legalized gay marriage. What does it matter to others if gay people want to get married? How does that in any way affect the way other people live? We waste valuable time, energy and media coverage on the petty argument that gay marriage is against the virtues, sanctity and meaning of marriage.

There may be hope amidst the madness. A man from California is actually taking a stand against the contradiction. John Marcotte, a 38-year-old husband and father of two, is pushing for a measure to be added to the ballot next year that would ban divorce in California. California voters rejected gay marriage last year on the basis of “protecting the sanctity of traditional marriage.” Marcotte feels it is only fitting to make sure Californians are doing everything in their power to continue protecting the sanctity, so they should make some more sacrifices and give up their right to divorce.

Obviously, this ban is absurd since approximately half of marriages in the United States end in divorce. But that is the point. How can we argue that people who fight for the right to get married should be denied when so many Americans do not take the vow “until death do us part” seriously?

Marcotte is selling T-shirts with an image of a bride and a groom handcuffed together. The bottom reads, “You’re not dead yet.” The ban is not the point so much as the statement it makes. We obsess over the glamour of the wedding, the dress and the societal expectation that we must be married that we forget it is the biggest commitment anyone can make.

Before this country starts dictating who can get married, we need to take a second look at what marriage means.

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